Brazil is adding vaccinations against COVID-19 to the list of required immunizations for children.
The country’s Ministry of Health made the announcement on Oct. 31.
“For all children born or living in Brazil, aged between 6 months and under 5 years, the vaccine becomes mandatory in the vaccine calendar,” said Ethel Maciel, secretary of health and environmental surveillance.
“It is an important change, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO), in which the vaccine against covid-19 [is now incorporated into] our National Immunization Program,” Maciel said.
Each child will be vaccinated once a year.
In February, Brazil’s leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said benefits from the country’s Bolsa Família welfare program would only be paid out to families whose children have received the required vaccines.
“The children have to be vaccinated. Suppose they don’t have a vaccination certificate. In that case, the mother will lose the benefit,” Lula said, according to The Rio Times.
The president said the vaccination policy is “a question of science.”
“If there are 10 COVID vaccines, 50 to take, I will take as many as necessary because I like my life. I think everyone has a duty to their children’s life,” he said.
Dr. Simon Goddek — a resident of Brazil, according to LifeSite News — criticized the new vaccination rule and said the consequences of violating it are “severe.”
“Families not complying face hefty fines, loss of social aids like ‘Bolsa Família’, or worse, having their children taken away,” he wrote in a post on X.
BREAKING: The Brazilian Health Ministry has now forced Covid-19 gene therapies into the National Immunization Program (PNI), making jabs mandatory for youngsters aged 6 months to 5 years starting 2024. The announcement came down today, and the repercussions are severe.… pic.twitter.com/z9rqjDhzvr